New Technology File System See NTFS.
NIC See network interface card.
NNTP See Network News Transport Protocol.
node A computer on a network.
NOS See network operating system.
notification area The box on the right side of the taskbar that Windows XP uses to
display icons that tell you the current state of the system.
NTFS An advanced file system that supports files up to 2TB in size and enables users to
apply encryption and enhanced security to the folders and files on an NTFS partition.
object A separate entity or component that is distinguished by its properties and
actions. In the OLE world, an object is not only data—a slice of text, a graphic, a sound, a
chunk of a spreadsheet, or whatever—but also one or more functions for creating, access-
ing, and using that data.
packet The data transfer unit used in network and modem communications. Each packet
contains not only data, but also a header that contains information about which
machine sent the data, which machine is supposed to receive the data, and a few extra
tidbits that let the receiving computer put all the original data together in the correct
order and check for errors that might have cropped up during the transmission.
paging file A special file used by the Memory Pager to emulate physical memory. If you
open enough programs or data files that physical memory becomes exhausted, the paging
file is brought into play to augment memory storage; also called a swap file.
parity bit In modem data transfers that use seven data bits, this is an extra bit that lets
the receiving system check the integrity of each character.
Parkinson’s Law of Data Data expands to fill the space available for storage (from the
original Parkinson’s Law: Work expands to fill the time available).
partition A section of a hard drive that has been configured to act as a separate
disk drive.
partition table A portion of the master boot record that contains data about the various
partitions on your system.
PCM See Pulse Code Modulation.
peer-to-peer network A network in which no one computer is singled out to provide
special services. Instead, all the computers attached to the network have equal status (at
least as far as the network is concerned), and all the computers can act as both servers and
clients. See also client/server network.
permissions For a user account, the privileges that define the user’s access to system
resources, such as whether the user can view, create, change, and delete objects.
playlist A customized collection of digital music files defined in Windows Media Player.
Glossary 761

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